How does one become an Extra in a film?

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  06 June 2005
Talking How does one become an Extra in a film?

I was watching the AOTC DVD documentory called "A twinkle beyond Pluto" the other night and thought "Hey! That would be a great summer job!"

I am of course refering to the wacky-world of "film extras". Is it really true that anyone can walk up to a film studio and ask to be in the background of a sizzling blockbuster? Or are they likely to say "On yer bike, Sunshine!" for such shocking audacity?

Does anyone know of any studios in and around London where I can quite easily get a job as an Extra? Anyone here ever done this kind of work?
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  06 June 2005
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Hi Boone,

Film Extra work is a lot of fun most times (female extras you get to meet ....ahem, and the breakfasts/lunches, etc)

I worked as an extra when I was out of full-time work for a year and I had 3-4 days a week on various Feature Films/TV shows. I was lucky as many said it was usually very patchy. My first experience was when I walked up to the wardrobe department for Braveheart and asked if I could partake as an extra....the next day I was being fitted for costumes. But from talking to crew members, I discovered that I should join the "Irish actor’s equity group" as a panel member. a yearly fee and anyone can join. but once I started being an "offical" extra I began talking to A.D.'s (Assistant Directors) and they later called me for future projects...etc, etc.

The cool thing is that you *usually* have lunch with the main cast in marquees, or whatever. and its a great way to make industry contacts!

downfalls: the odd-hours (depending on the film) usually you need to be in the wardrobe dept. at 7am for getting ready and then 8/8:30am on location. but sometimes I had a wardrobe call at 7pm and worked into the night, finishing at 4am. so depending on the extras you meet on set, this could lead to a nice party with a gang of them!

The other thing I found was the extras were budding: actresses/actors, directors, art directors, etc. so like I said good for contacts.

give it a shot!

- Somhairle
 
  06 June 2005
I have no idea - apart from being in the right city at the right time. A lot of times extras are pulled from the population of whatever location a project is being filmed in. My boss claims to have been an extra in the Exorcist. He was cut out of the original, but the director's cut that came out recently has him in it ((with his girlfriend at the time)) - walking down the sidewalk at the very beginning. Well - that's what he says anyway. I hope it's true. . . he doesn't seem like the tall tale sort.

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  06 June 2005
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